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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Posh grub

Scallops in garlic butter
Piri piri king prawns
Roasted monkfish with herb crust.

Fillet of cod with chorizo and green peppers

Green beans topped with parmesan
Deep fried courgettes with salsa
Honeycomb ice cream with hot chocolate sauce
LOCATION: Scotts, Mount Street, Mayfair.
CATEGORY: Mega posh, seafood.
FOOD: Much better than the pictures.
DRINK: Champagne to start, Chablis for main, Macchiato to finish.
WE THINK: Wear nice disguise to blend in with the assiduously posh crowd + know your table manners... Extremely nice food made from great produce and amazing service as expected with a pricetag which even makes John Major's glasses look tiny.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Detox deluxe


Edamame with garlic and chilli

Sea vegetable salad with beetroot, carrot, daikon, avocado and ginger-sesame vinaigrette

Mushroom gyoza with shiitake and woodear mushrooms, organic tofu, carrot and water chestnuts

Lasagne with raw bolognaise, sage pesto, olive, mushrooms and macadamia ricotta


LOCATION: Saf, Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London
CATEGORY: Vegan / raw food
DRINK: Saf's tab water with cucumber and a "Summertime Sling" mocktail with strawberries, lemon juice, mint, ginger and sparkling water.
WE THINK: You don't have to be a vegan to eat at Saf but lots of cash or a small appetite will help. Most of Saf's rather pricey plant-based botanical dishes are cooked at temperatures below 48C, with herbs and greens sourced from the courtyard where we dined this June evening. It's all very correct, environmentally friendly and healthy and we like to think of our annual visit to Saf as a bit of an ethical and physical detox. To kick off the dinner we had edamame which were tasty and a little spicy while the seaweed salad was a fairly bland affair which made us feel like rabbits on the beach. The lasagne was an extremely liberal take on the concept of a lasagne - as regards both taste and appearance - and one can only assume the person who named the bottom layer of Saf's lasagne 'bolognese', is a vegan who has never tried 'real' bolognese. Ignoring the conceptual difficulties however the dish was actually very yummy.  The gyoza were delicate with juicy mushrooms and a nice crunchyness from the water chestnuts. We cleansed our palates with a delicious strawberry mocktail and left Saf feeling refreshed, healthy and slightly hungry.  See you in a year.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nagomi hihihi...

Nice crispy pork dumplings/gyoza
Special Nagomi pork based noodle soup with chashu (tender pork) and garnish
LOCATION: Nagomi, 4 Blenheim Street W1S 1LB
CATEGORY: Japanese
FOOD: Ramen and Gyoza...
DRINK: Tea
WE THINK: Nagomi does the best Tonkotsu ramen in town. When asked we always opt for traditionally thin noodles Kyushu style. The southern island of Japan is known for its rich pork based tastes and Nagomi saves the trip half way around the globe to experience this wonderful PORK bonanza!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Who nan? Hunan

Tender beancurd with preserved duck eggs and prawn

Cold stir-fried potato slices in chilli

Pig's trotter skin with chilli and coriander

Pounded aubergines in sesame, chilli and garlic sauce
LOCATION: Ba Shan, 24 Romilly Street, SOHO, London
CATEGORY: Sichuan / Hunan (Chinese)
DRINK: Jasmine tea
WE THINK: Where did all the snacks go? Ba Shan used to be dedicated to serving up bite-sized (and massively overpriced) Sichuanese snacks. Nowadays the concept has changed and Ba Shan serves a mix of 'normal' (but still pretty small and overprized) Hunanese and Sichuanese dishes. The upside is that you get slightly more food for your money, which we think is a good thing as long as it's still yummy. Which it was. Beware of the garlic though as you're likely to have it evaporating from your pores for a good 24 hours after a visit. We thought the potatoes were best with the pigs trotters skin taking a second place. The beancurd had a perfect texture but was too salty and although the aubergines were tasty, they became a bit boring half-way through and that's why we did something very unusual and left without eating up.

Gelatolicious!

LOCATION: Transformer's pad - takeaway from Amorino, Old Compton St, SOHO, London
CATEGORY: Ice cream
FOOD: 1100 ml takeaway box with 6 flavours of gelato (from left to right): Hazelnut, Speculoos, passion fruit, caramel, Ecuadorean chocolate, strawberry.
DRINK: Champagne
WE THINK: A scoop of heaven! Dangerously addictive...personal favourites were Speculoos and chocolate.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ich bin ein Frankfurter


LOCATION: Garibaldi, Kleine Hochstrasse 4, Frankfurt, Germany
CATEGORY: Italian
FOOD: Tagliolini with lobster
DRINK: San Pellegrino sparkling water
WE THINK: Finding an attractive place to dine in the shopping area surrounding Grosse Bockenheimerstrasse in Frankfurt is a considerable challenge.  Al fresco dining at Garibaldi seemed to be our best bet on this Wednesday evening. After some gooey focaccia bread and an uninspiring salad, the lobster tagliolini which arrived was a pleasant surprise. While we doubt the lobster was alive when cooked, it was well prepared and very springy and juicy. The tomato-based sauce was a zesty yet subtle companion and the tagliolini, although a bit well-done to be truly al dente by Italian standards, was fresh and tasty. We would be crazy to recommend a detour to Frankfurt for the sake of Garibaldi's Italian cooking, but should you get stuck in central Frankfurt on an empty stomach, this is a pretty safe choice.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wear the sombrero for lunch...






LOCATION: Luardos, Whitecross Market, London
CATEGORY: Mexican / Tex Mex
FOOD: Burrito with beef (cooked in spicy chipotle), rice, black beans, cheese, tomato salsa, sour cream, lettuce, guacamole and lots of habanero!
DRINK: A can of coke
WE THINK: Having made it only 10 metres from the mint-green Luardos van with the foil-wrapped burritos in our hands, it was a disappointment to discover habanero and salsa trickle in steady streams down our sleeves. Thumbs up for being environmentally friendly and saving on the packaging - bit of a mess though. Luckily, we had a plate and cutlery handy and once over the initial disappointment, there was no denying this was a delicious burrito - the beef delicately seasoned and the guacamole full of coriander and freshness. We'll be back for more - next time the Carnitas burrito (slow-cooked pork).
OUR TIP: Visit the market on a rainy day to avoid queues.
PS: Burritos are not very photogenic - our burrito tasted much better than it looks.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Udon addiction...


Cold udon in hot dipping soup with tempura / Hiya atsu tempura tsuke udon

Cold udon topped with kimchi, fermented soya beans and cold garnish + cold sauce to pour / Natto kimuchi bukkake udon
Cold udon topped with marinated mackerel and green leaves + cold sauce to pour / Saba salada bukkake udon
 
Cold udon topped with minced pork in miso paste and cold garnish + cold sauce to pour / Buta miso bukkake udon

Lotus shoot crisps / Age renkon
Tender slow cooked pork in soya, mirin and sake / Buta kakuni
Slow cooked egg in light broth / Onsen tamago
Roast duck / Kamo ro-suto
LOCATION: Koya, 49 Frith Street SOHO London
CATEGORY: Japanese udon specialist
DRINK: Kirin beer
WE THINK: Koya is the real deal for authentic Udon sanuki style, even the images don't justify the addictive taste of the newly opened Koya.
OUR TIP: If you like the udon here, try Kunitoraya in Paris whose head chef trained the good people at Koya

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Transformer flies the seafood flag!

Roast chicken with cannelloni beans and watercress accompanied by avocado puree
Scallops and chorizo with watercress salad sautéed potatoes

LOCATION: Andrew Edmunds, SOHO London
CATEGORY: French, European
DRINK
: Bourgogne Red 2004
WE THINK: Super juicy chicken, extremely fresh and yummy but against perfectly panfried Scallops with chorizo and a squirt of lemon juice we fly with the seafood flag!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Some like it hot...

Pork dumplings with vinegar / jiaozi
Dry-fried string beans with minced pork and chilli / ganbian sijidou

Beef in 'extremely spicy sauce' / shuizhu niurou

Aubergine in spicy fish sauce / yuxiang qiezi
 LOCATION: New China, Chinatown, London
CATEGORY: Chinese
DRINK: Tsingtao beer
WE THINK: Spicy and yummy it burns my tummy! New China is a decent pick for sichuanese and north-Chinese food and reasonably priced. The shuizhu niurou was authentic with lots of sichuan peppers and came in a bowl so big you could easily fit your head inside it. The jiaozi (dumplings) were freshly made to order and served piping hot. The filling was so tasty and the skin so smooth it made us jump with joy and think of spring festival in China.
OUR TIP: If you can't find any of the above dishes on the menu, you probably got given the 'Western' menu. Ask again.

Battle of the starters (Part II)

English Asparagus with Poached Egg & Hollandaise
LOCATION: Blacks, Dean Street, Soho, London
CATEGORY: Members club, European, French
DRINK: House champagne
WE THINK: Salmon tartar was yummier...

Battle of the starters (Part I)

Salmon tartar with roasted capers and creme fraiche

LOCATION: Blacks, Dean Street, Soho, London
CATEGORY: Members club, European, French
DRINK: House champagne
WE THINK: Yummy...

I am Transformer I EAT EVERYWHERE!